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Wednesday, March 9, 2022
$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. – The city of Berkley will build an inclusive playground at Jaycee Park and update the park’s pathways, pavilion, and restrooms to increase accessibility and use with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and city of Berkley announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by May 9, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/jayceepark.
“Jaycee Park is already a beloved destination in the city of Berkley, and this playground will further enhance the park by providing an inclusive, vibrant outdoor experience within the park that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Jaycee Park Development project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
An inclusive playground is one in which children and adults of all abilities can interact with each other and do what everyone wants to do: PLAY. Inclusive play goes beyond the required ADA accessibility requirements to create play experiences that meet a variety of needs and interests. These environments are sensory-rich and enable children to develop physically, socially, and emotionally. Inclusive playgrounds are engaging places that provide the just-right level of challenge and offer opportunities to succeed. Inclusive playgrounds also allow adults of varying ages and abilities to actively engage with children in their care.
The Berkley Parks & Recreation Department toured several inclusive playgrounds in Southeast Michigan. These walkthroughs, in addition to their knowledge of inclusive play, have helped inform the foundation for the Jaycee Park development. This campaign will allow the city to complete updates to the pathways and pavilion, add restrooms to increase the accessibility and use of the park, and provide a state of the art universally accessible playscape.
“We are super grateful that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is partnering with us as we work to create a space where children and adults of all ages and abilities can interact with each other," said Berkley Parks and Recreations Director Theresa McArleton. “With the support of the community, this fundraiser has the potential to build a park that is a vibrant and significant location spot for more Berkley enjoyment, socialization, healthy activities, and imaginative fun. AND, if we hit our goal of $50,000 the MEDC will match that, essentially doubling our donation.”
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets to enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Making numerous improvements to Jaycee Park does both. With the support of the Berkley-area community, this effort will improve the human experience for everyone for years to come. That is what community wealth building is about.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of Feb. 28, 2022, MEDC has provided more than $9.8 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 302 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $11.2 million raised from 51,922 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning our matching funds.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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